This is the last week to send us a story and/or picture of a camping FAIL. We’ll pick a random entry to win two camping chairs, a lantern and a Lodge-brand dutch oven from Washington Hardware and Furniture in Kennewick to use on your next trip (which will hopefully be mishap-free). The winner will be announced June 4. Standard contest rules apply.

Here are the most recent submissions:


Forgot to turn the gas off

We were on a camping trip at Lake Coeur d’lene. I woke up and turned the on the gas on the camp stove to make some coffee. At the same time, my daughter called me over to their camp site to help them with their stove. When I returned to our site a few minutes later I turned the gas knob again (not realizing I had already done that). Needless to say, when I put a match to the burner the whole stove erupted into flames. The gas had been running for about 5 minutes so it was a pretty spectacular fire. When the fire died down, our green camp stove was totally black, but still worked fine. We are still using the stove today, and the black color is my constant reminder of my big camp fail.

Refreshing pond hides broken beer bottle

In 1977 my husband took leave from the Navy for a month. We decided to try camping at the Tule River Indian Reservation. It was a beautiful little campground with a teeny creek, a teeny waterfall (about four feet tall) and a five-foot pond with a sandy bottom. First thing out, the dog found fish guts someone had left in the creek and gulped them down, then spent the rest of the day throwing up. That night we had very noisy neighbors who stayed up until 2 a.m. playing cards and drinking. The next day was so hot we decided to cool off in the pond. My two sons and I were at the shallow end and my husband came in by the waterfall. He put his hand in the sand and found a broken beer bottle that almost cut off his little finger. We did the fastest de-camp possible with a 7 and 3-year-old kids. My husband couldn’t help at all. We tore down the gravel mountain road and finally got on a highway and saw a sign for a California State Hospital. It was a mental hospital! We hit the road again and ended up in Portersville’s emergency room for the next three hours. Seven stitches later we surrendered to the camping gods and spent the night at the Best Western.

sun-burned back

This is my own FAIL. We were camping along the Boise River and went swimming in some hot springs. For some reason I felt uncomfortable asking my siblings to spread sunscreen on my back, so I applied it myself best I could. I obviously missed some spots.

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